Between Tuesday, Nov. 27, and Monday, Dec. 3, the College Union Board (CUB) gave students at the College an opportunity to decide which artists will be invited to perform at CUB’s Spring Concert. As of press time, more than 1,500 students had completed the survey, each giving up to four top choices of artists.
Students were able to choose from a list of 15 artists, including Cartel, Yellowcard, Dashboard Confessional, Ben Folds, Akon and Brand New. In an e-mail interview, Alex Mazella, CUB director, explained that CUB chose to conduct a survey “to know what the students want since we are elected to program events for the entire student community” because funding for the concert comes from the students themselves.
“If we’re going to be spending (students’) money that is paid into the SAF (Student Activities Fee), then we want to make sure that the money gets back to them proportionally by planning a concert that is of interest to a majority of the campus,” Mazella said. “The best way to know what students want is to survey them.”
Charda Tabb, senior communication studies major, agreed. “We are the ones that are obviously paying for it, so we should get some say in it,” Tabb said. Tabb picked Chris Brown as her top choice.
Mazella said CUB not only wanted students to be aware of where the money is coming from, but also wanted to foster interest in the event.
“The more people feel involved, the more interest they will have in an event,” Mazella said. “Even though the artist chosen may not be one they voted for, they are at least aware about the Spring Concert and it’s possible we may have stirred student interest in artists that they may not have considered before.”
Mazella explained that, unlike past concerts, CUB did not select the artist options offered in the survey. “In no way have I or any of the CUB executive board members compiled the list, but rather the students of (the College) themselves have,” Mazella said.
The process began with a survey conducted this April. In addition to asking about ticket prices and which day of the week students preferred, participants were asked to list three artists, within the $70,000 budget allocated for the concert, they would like to see. Incoming freshmen were also sent a similar survey over the summer. CUB’s concert agent then looked at the list of the top 25 artists and the list was narrowed down to 15 based on availability and the expected cost.
Tabb said she felt pleased with the diversity of the choices offered. “I’m glad they have more black artists,” Tabb said. And as for the lack of any female performers on the list, Tabb felt that wasn’t surprising. “There aren’t that many female artists that are out with hot stuff right now,” Tabb said.
Mazella emphasized that CUB often has to resort to a third or fourth choice because of scheduling or financial considerations, which could mean the artist that gets booked isn’t as popular on campus.
But this year, things are looking up. “At least in the case of putting out the voting survey this time, we are getting a response that has said out of all the choices, there is still a significant interest in all the artists,” Mazella said.
CUB will be submitting the top choice, along with a tentative concert date, to the Student Finance Board today.